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Candida albicans

Candida albicans is a fungus of the genus Candida, which belongs to the yeast fungi.

Candida albicans is one of the facultative pathogens. In unfavorable conditions, it can cause so-called candidiasis. People with underlying diseases whose immune systems are weakened are particularly at risk.

There are basically two types of infections caused by Candida albicans: superficial infections of the skin and mucosa, and invasive candidiasis. In the latter, the fungus can penetrate deeper tissue layers, reach the blood system and thus spread throughout the body (systemic candidiasis).

In addition, the fungus can also enter the abdominal cavity directly during surgical procedures and infect parenchymal organs (e.g., the liver).

Candida albicans is commonly found in humans on the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, digestive tract, and genital area.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: Low

  • Pulmonology: Low

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Low

  • Urology: High

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • High concern organism

Candida albicans is in symbiosis with numerous other microorganisms of the human microbiome. The yeast fungus contributes to biofilm formation with these microbes or stimulates them to form biofilms.

Transmission route

Candida albicans can be transmitted by direct and indirect contact with contaminated persons or objects.

Antifungals

Candida albicans shows resistance to fluconazole.

Further readings

  1. Antifungal Resistance in Candida, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/antifungal-resistant.html (accessed on 06.14.2021).

  2. Candidiasis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html (accessed 06.14.2021).

  3. Gries O, Ly T: Infektologie – Kompendium humanpathogener Infektionskrankheiten und Erreger, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019.